Apple and Pear

T&G counts on high quality apple crop

New Zealand grower-marketer plans to pick more than 120,000 tonnes of apples as it braces for “tough season” with labour and logistics

T&G Global has begun harvesting and shipping the first of this season’s New Zealand apple crop, with plans to pick more than 6.5m (18kg) cartons, which equates to over 120,000 tonnes.

Craig Betty, director of operations for T&G Global, said quality is looking good across all varieties this season, with fruit generally sizing well.

“For our premium Jazz and Envy brands, we’re seeing good quality and fruit size better than 2021,” said Betty.

“With hot and humid weather for early harvest in the Hawke’s Bay, striking the right conditions to develop good foreground colour has been challenging, but the recent change of weather should see this improve.

“In the South Island, we’ve seen higher than usual rainfall in spring, followed by warm summer temperatures which should see a full crop and improved sizing on 2021.”

T&G’s early-season apple, Poppi, is the company’s first variety to be harvested in February, followed by Royal Gala, Jazz and Envy over the coming months.

“Thanks to its early ripening qualities, Poppi is one of the first New Zealand apple brands of the season to arrive in our highly competitive Asian markets,” said Betty.

Labour and logistics challenges loom large for the New Zealand apple season, and T&G said it is taking a proactive approach to managing the issues as best it can.

“Without a doubt it’s going to be a tough season given New Zealand’s tight labour market, the absence of working holiday visa workers, continuing global supply chain challenges, and the ongoing impact of Covid-19 across the country and globe,” Betty explained.

“Across the country, we’re recruiting extensively to bring in much needed additional team members to help minimise the shortages we’re facing.

“We have business continuity plans in place across our supply chain and are continually monitoring the situation so we can move quickly to navigate and minimise the challenges which may come our way."

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/produceplus

Author: John Hey

USDA provides export forecasts for Chilean table grapes, pome fruit

The USDA has forecast Chilean table grape exports to rise significantly in the upcoming season, while apples are expected to remain flat and pears will likely see a decline.

Table grapes
In its Fresh Deciduous Fruit Annual report for Chile, the USDA said it expects table grape exports from the Latin American country to rise by 23 percent year-on-year to 645,000 metric tons (MT).

"This estimate assumes production will bounce back after the setback caused by the rainfall in January 2021," it said.

Chilean table grape exports decreased by 13 percent in volume last season to 525,419, while the value of exports dropped by 11 percent to $826 million.

Total table grape production is expected to increase by a similar level to exports to reach 805,000MT. The rebound in production is associated with increased production from new varieties planted in recent years and a return to more normalized climatic conditions.

The United States remains the main market for Chilean table grape exports accounting for 49 percent of Chilean table grape exports. In 2020-21, table grape exports to the United States totaled 254,811 MT an 8 percent decrease over 2019/20.

China is the second market for Chilean table grape exports, totaling 78,117 MT in 2020-21 a 30.1 percent decline over 2019-20. This decline is attributed to the quality of the fruit that was damaged by rainfall. Much of this product was not good enough to travel from Chile to a distant market like China and arrive with the required firmness and overall quality.

Pome fruit
Chilean apple exports are expected to reach 637000MT next year, nearly unchanged from the previous season.

The USDA says the forecast follows the current production trend closely. In 2020-21 (data until August), Chilean apple exports totaled 546,193 MT, a 3.7 percent decrease from 2019-20.

For 2021-22, it estimates apple planted area to remain flat at 32,300 hectares.

"Producers are renewing current apple orchards with new varieties, but planted area is not increasing significantly due to competition from other fruit crops that are more profitable," it said.

"Some of the new apple varieties in Chile are Brookfield Gala, Pink Lady, Rosy Glow, Ambrosia, Modi, and Buckeye."

Apple production in 2021-22 is expected to remain flat and total 1,090,000MT since planted area is projected to remain unchanged.

The USDA bases this projection considering the drought problems that Chile is facing in the apple production regions and assuming no unexpected meteorological events.

Pear exports are set to decrease by 7 percent to 112,000 due to the decrease in pear planted area and lower anticipated production volume.

"In 2020-21 (data until August) Chile increased exports by 6.8 percent, totaling 114,915 MT," it said. "This increase in exports was due to the increase in pear production and because Chile was able to position pears in foreign markets, despite the difficulties in commercialization that come from consumer preferences."

In 2020-21, planted area is projected to decrease to 6,700 ha, following the reduction trend observed since MY2017-18.

The USDA projects Chile’s 2021-22 fresh pear production to decrease by 6.9 percent and total 217,000 MT.

Source: https://www.freshfruitportal.com/

 

Latest IAN ( Industry Advice Notice) advice from DAWR

Latest Department of Agriculture advice notices are as follows:

2021-47: Horticulture – Applications for the export of Mainland apples and pears to Thailand

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-47

2021-48: Horticulture – Horticulture – Citrus packhouse applications for exports to protocol markets in 2022

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-48

2021-51: Plant Exports Management System – Communications workflow coming in late October

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-51

2021-52: Plant Export Operations – Food establishment registration requirements for products exported to China

https://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/plants-plant-products/ian/2021/2021-52 

Stink bug threatens Italian fruit

Country's entire pear crop said to be in danger following unprecedented outbreak, with apples and kiwifruit also at risk

ruit crops including pears, apples and kiwifruit in some of Italy's major producing regions are reportedly under grave threat following an unusually widespread outbreak of brown marmorated stink bug.

The insect, which is native to several Asian countries and has recently established itself as a pest in part of Europe, North America and South America, is said to be worryingly prevalent this year across much of northern Italy, including Piedmont Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Trentino-South Tyrol and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.

According to reports, the outbreak is so serious that some believe it threatens to wipe out Italy's entire pear crop, with estimated potential damage to that sector alone ranging from €250m to in excess of €400m.

Giorgio Mercuri, president of national cooperatives alliance ACI's agricultural division, called on the government to set up an emergency committee of ministerial and regional representatives to tackle the problem, which he said had been further aggravated by an unseasonable climate.

"This dramatic crisis, whose financial impact on businesses is remarkable, is now also expanding to other products – vegetables, soy and wheat – and regions such as Friuli Venezia Giulia and Piedmont, and is predicted that the damage will further increase," he said.

Agricultural body Confagricoltura's Emilia Romagna office released a statement confirming the bug had been detected in Italy's so-called golden quadrilateral, an area linking Ferrara, Modena, Bologna and Ravenna that is responsible for producing almost three-quarters of the country's pear crop.

The group's regional president Albano Bergami, who also produces pears near Ferrara, underscored the severity of the episode. "The reality is beyond our imagination and even more negative than any ominous initial forecast," he commented.

"Serious damage caused by the Asian bug is also being found on all varieties of pears, including Santa Maria in full harvest and even in the areas where the killer insect in the past had never appeared, so much so that now its presence can be considered endemic."

Uphill struggle

Even where crops are protected, for example with netting, the magnitude of the outbreak and the sheer number of bugs is apparently leading to damage that renders the remaining crops unprofitable.

"Some of our fellow producers have already left the pear plants to their fate because of [brown marmorated stink bug]," revealed Simone Spreafico, owner and director of Spreafico, one of Italy's largest fresh produce marketers, in conversation with Italiafruit.

A video recorded by Spreafico and posted on the Italiafruit website late last week showed a massive swarm of stink bugs apparently at a pear orchard in Veneto.

Another video, posted on Twitter by Professor Max Suckling, biosecurity science group leader at New Zealand's Plant and Food Research, showed the bugs crawling across a mower at an apple research orchard in Trentino, north-west Italy, managed by Fondazione Edmund Mach.

"The latest case was this week: a 40ha farm in Rovigo, which had just started harvesting the summer variety Santa Maria," Spreafico added. "After having seen the huge damage to the fruit, the owner decided to abandon all operations."

Even with covers, he said, volume losses would still be around 30-40 per cent. "Younger bugs, in fact, are so small that they can often slip into nets. We can do nothing to counter them. Unfortunately, this insect will take away even the little pears that we expected to harvest this year."

As far as Spreafico was concerned, it made no sense to produce if only two-thirds of the potential production ends up being viable. "It can be done for a year, two at most," he told Italiafruit. "The 2019 vintage is considered lost. Next year, we will be forced to cut down the trees.

"As producers we need immediate responses from government and research bodies, so we can overcome the bug problem in the shortest possible time."

Fruitnet understands that some producers in Italy are looking to adopt control measures similar to those employed in other parts of Europe and the US, where affected growers have been known to deploy an insect known as the Samurai wasp to bring stink bug infestations under control.

The wasps are known to deposit eggs in the bug's own eggs, which then die as the parasitic larvae grow.

 

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com

Author: Mike Knowles

Australian N & A brings Swing apple on board

Australian company N & A is owned by the Cathels family. Rob showed up at recent Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin for the official signing of the Swing® license and for the yearly Swing® global meeting.

Rob explains: “The N & A Group is a third generation family owned business which is based in Sydney. Our distribution centre is located in Orchard Hills in Western Sydney, supplying the major supermarkets and fresh fruit wholesale markets across Australia."

"Our Exports are predominately to the Asian and Middle Eastern markets, with future plans of expansion to the European Markets. Our farming land in Batlow, in the Snowy Mountains region of New South Wales consists of approximately 100 hectares growing of Apples, conventional and organic production, as well as organic berry production with a further 900ha available for planting."


N & A played an instrumental role in the successful introduction of Kanzi® to the Australian market, and are now the biggest grower of Kanzi® in Australia amongst the partners in the Kanzi Marketing Group.

The success with Kanzi® shows the value of branding, and the support of a global group of partners are vital elements to ensure the success of a new apple in the unique Australian retail market.

The Cathels family decided to join the RedMoon® company for Swing® after several years of discussions and research into this product. We found that the RedMoon® company had and has a clear vision of the direction they were heading to create and maintain sustainable brands and relationships. As a family owned company we were very impressed with the professionalism, values, culture and passion that stood behind the brand which gave us full confidence in building a long term relationship.

In a perpetually competitive market, Swing® is a clear stand out amongst the rest. We have never seen a more convincing apple because of a full range of advantages: attractive rustic fruit, resistance to scab and very tolerant to other diseases like fireblight and powdery mildew – this allows growers to implement very sustainable and responsible farming.

The cultivar “Xeleven” stores well, giving super long shelf life – which is perfect for the Australian consumer. And, with its super texture, customers globally get a chance to taste and experience a whole new super fruit. With customers now choosing to make health conscious purchases, we believe Swing® will move to the top of the consumer’s shopping list with all the health benefits it has to offer. It is simply a great all round apple! Our intention is planting up to 100 hectares of Swing® in Australia, both at our orchards in Batlow, NSW and throughout our group of committed supply partner’s orchards in the best growing regions across the country. Because of its robust genetics, this apple ticks all the boxes for responsible farming.“

Braun Jürgen, CEO of RedMoon® Company: "Indeed responsible farming is essential for us. We want all our partners around the world, for all our brands and varieties, to reduce the human impact on nature and produce as sustainable as possible. With Cathels we have the next family run business joining and we love short decision ways, open minds, like-minded people with a large horizon. On the other side Swing® speaks for itself: Consumers are struck by the rustic look which reminds them “old varieties”, they like the taste and the color, now a lot about healthy ingredients, in short the consumer out there wants to eat healthy, nature-oriented and sustainable apples.

The interest throughout the world is amazing: all Swing®s of this season are already sold. The production in France and Italy is placed in many countries in Europe, Middle and Far East, our customers and retailers love the outstanding apple. That’s the reason why we feel comfortable to increase hectares and partner with the whole world. Lots of Partners from other brands like Kiku® and Isaaq® have already expressed their interest, as it fits perfectly into their schemes for responsible farming as well. At Fruit Attraction 2019 in Madrid we will rock again with good news.”

For more information:
Red Moon Ltd
Email: info@redmoon-apple.com

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

Image: Kanzi apple - APAL


Publication date : 2/27/2019

Early engagement core to market access in China

With market access negotiations underway for Australian mainland apples and strong progress made towards the launch of Pink Lady® in China, Apple and Pear Australia Limited (APAL) are doubling down on their efforts to forge relationships in the region.

“This is our third visit to mainland China in the last 12 months,” said Andrew Hooke, APAL Director Global Development, of the team’s November trip. “Market access is probably still some time away, but we are doing all that we can to accelerate this by articulating the benefits to China and generating excitement around our product.”

The most recent visit coincided with the China Fruit & Vegetable Fair where Australian fresh produce was appreciated by Chinese officials at the trade display hosted by Hort Innovation and Taste Australia.

During the visit, APAL also participated in the 2018 International Seminar on Inspection Technical Cooperation sponsored and hosted by China Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Association (CIQA).

“CIQA plays an important role in securing access for Australian mainland apples so it was quite an honour to have APAL’s own Head of Global Quality and Innovation, Andrew Mandemaker, invited to address the delegates,” explained Andrew. The prestigious event was attended Professor Guo Lisheng, Senior Advisor of CIQA; Mr Paul McNamara, Minister Counsellor from the Australian Embassy; and Mr Adam Balcerak Department of Agriculture.

In addition to informal discussions, APAL was also asked to present to the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China.

“We are building the business case for the size and sophistication of the Australian apple industry and its value to the Chinese consumer, every chance we get.”

“The quality of the existing commercial relationships between APAL and Chinese government officials and business partners, reinforces our commitment to an industry partnership, which will be a key driver for the Chinese government supporting market access,” said Andrew.

For more information:
Apple and Pear Australia Limited
Phone: +61 3 9329 3511
Fax: +61 3 9329 3522
Email: ea@apal.org.au
www.apal.org.au


Publication date : 1/9/2019

Source: www.freshplaza.com 

USDA to purchase US$500M of produce as part of trade war assistance

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says it will purchase more than US$200 million of apples and cherries as part of its assistance programs to growers impacted by tariffs implemented by countries like China.

A total of a little more than US$500 million will be spent on fruits, vegetables and tree nuts under the Agricultural Marketing Service’s (AMS) Food Purchase and Distribution Program, which has a total budget of US$1.2 billion.

The Food Purchase and Distribution Program is one of three programs – along with the Market Facilitation Program (MFP) and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Program (ATP) – with a total value of US$12 billion recently announced for farmers affected by “unjustified retaliation by foreign nations.”

China has implemented heavy tariffs on all U.S. agricultural exports, while Mexico has set duties for imports of some fruits including apples.

The amounts of commodities to be purchased through the AMS program are based on “an economic analysis of the damage caused by unjustified tariffs imposed on the crops listed below,” the USDA said.

“Their damages will be adjusted based on several factors and spread over several months in response to orders placed by states participating in the FNS nutrition assistance programs,” it said.

The USDA has set aside US$111.5 million for sweet cherries, US$93.4 million for apples, US$85.2 million for pistachios, US$63.3 million for almonds US$55.6 for fresh oranges, US$48.2 million for grapes, US$44.5 million for potatoes, US$34.6 million for walnuts and US$32.8 million for cranberries.

For cherries and almonds, the USDA said the program details are yet to be defined, and these two commodities were not included in the program’s US$1.2 billion budget.

For fruits, vegetables and tree nuts, assistance was also announced for apricots, blueberries, figs, grapefruit, hazelnuts, kidney beans, lemons/limes, Macadamia nuts, Navy beans, orange juice, pears, peas, pecans, plums/prunes, strawberries and sweetcorn.

“Early on, the President instructed me, as Secretary of Agriculture, to make sure our farmers did not bear the brunt of unfair retaliatory tariffs,” said Perdue.

Perdue said that after careful analysis, this strategy has been formulated to mitigate the trade damages sustained by farmers.

“President Trump has been standing up to China and other nations, sending the clear message that the United States will no longer tolerate their unfair trade practices, which include non-tariff trade barriers and the theft of intellectual property,” he said.

“In short, the President has taken action to benefit all sectors of the American economy – including agriculture – in the long run.

“It’s important to note all of this could go away tomorrow, if China and the other nations simply correct their behavior. But in the meantime, the programs we are announcing today buys time for the President to strike long-lasting trade deals to benefit our entire economy.”

Click here to view the USDA press release.

 

Source: www.freshfruitportal.com 

Produce in firing line as US sparks trade war

The EU, Canada and Mexico consider retaliatory measures in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports
The US has announced the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from the EU, Canada and Mexico, prompting fears of a protracted and damaging trade war.

Almost immediately after president Donald Trump’s announcement, the Mexican government issued a statement announcing that it would impose equivalent measures on various US imports including apples, table grapes and cranberries.

The measures would remain in effect until the US government eliminated the import tariffs, the Ministry for the Economy said.

The latest trade data available from ITC suggests that, of the three products, the US apple export trade would stand to lose the most from a Mexican tariff hike.

Mexico is by far the largest importer of US apples, with sales worth US$276.5m last year, compared with US$174.3m in Canada and US$97.4m in India.

Mark Powers, president of the Yakima, Washington-based Northwest Horticultural Council, said the move was expected to cause substantial damage to the industry.

Mexico is the third major market to impose tariffs on Washington apples as a result of US trade policy on steel and aluminium this year.

Last week, India announced plans to put a 30 per cent retaliatory tariff on US apples – on top of the 50 per cent tariff that they are already subjected to, while in China US fruit imports have faced a 15 per cent hike in tariffs since 2 April.

Sales of US fresh apples to Mexico may have declined slightly in recent years, but last year they were 21 per cent up on the previous campaign.

Meanwhile, fresh cranberry exporters in the US have seen the value of their business in Mexico increase considerably over the past few years, albeit from a low starting point. According to ITC, Mexican import sales rose by 30 per cent to just under US$1.27m between 2013 and 2017.

As for table grapes, the value of US sales to Mexico fell by 2 per cent to US$97.2m during 2013-2017, although ITC noted a 26 per cent increase in 2017 compared with the previous campaign.

WTO case opened

The EU, meanwhile, has confirmed it is opening a case at the World Trade Organisation in response to the new US duties, with EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström expected to announce retaliatory "proportionate" tariffs on US exports including cranberries "in accordance with WTO rules".

Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative on foreign policy, told journalists: "The European Union will today proceed with the WTO dispute settlement case adding those additional duties on a number of imports from the United States. The European Union measures will be reasonable, proportionate and in full compliance with WTO rules and obligations.”

The decision by the White House was dubbed “patently absurd” by the UK’s international trade secretary, Liam Fox, who suggested the UK would be prepared for “tit-for-tat” moves. “We absolutely do not rule out counter measures,” he asserted.

When the initial threat of tariffs was raised by the US back in March, the EU pledged to retaliate with tariffs on American imports such as orange juice, cranberries and bourbon.

“Logically, these unilateral measures on steel and aluminium will lead to multiple counter reactions around the world, and for sure they will be challenged within the WTO,” said Philippe Binard, general delegate of European fresh produce association Freshfel Europe.

“The EU has already published a list of potential retaliatory measures that will be effective from 18 June, including on orange juice, cranberry juice and sweet corn. Elsewhere in the world, retaliatory measures may include increased taxes on US fresh fruit and vegetables.”

The question, according to Binard, is whether or not the US will remove its measures on steel and aluminium in order to avoid triggering such a response.

Additional reporting by Mike Knowles and Maura Maxwell

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit

Author: Tom Joyce

Seeka's Australian operations growing by the year

Continued investment in orchards, and post-harvest infrastructure with a focus on producing a better quality product has helped Seeka Australia create strong demand for its kiwifruit.

Seeka Australia commenced harvest and packing for its green kiwifruit season in early April, and Sales Manager Cameron Carter says it has been going well, with good volumes of kiwifruit been picked, packed and dispatched for customers.

"The growing period has seen plentiful amounts of sunshine, with minimal rainfall," he said. "While our forecasted volume for the season is down slightly from last year, we still have a good crop ahead of us. The taste of the fruit is exceptional, and it has been a very good kiwifruit vintage year in Australia."

Mr Carter added demand is strong because Seeka has focused on presenting and delivering our consumers a better quality fruit.

"The market has responded to the better Seeka quality with more demand and Seeka has invested in additional orchards to meet that demand," he said. "The team at Seeka Australia works tirelessly in growing, harvesting, packing and distributing its produce, providing a fully integrated orchard to market service, to ensure we are the best in class, delivering on our company vision of being Australia’s premier produce company."

The bulk of Seeka's current production in Australia is centred around Hayward green kiwifruit, with only trial areas of new varieties.

"There are of course a range of other kiwifruit varieties becoming available in Australia," Mr Carter said. "Seeka is evaluating new varieties in all categories that we grow including nashi and European pears. There are exciting prospects."

Seeka's main market for our Australian kiwifruit is domestic sales, with the company realising it needs to invest in additional capacity to meet the increased supply and demand, but it is not quite at that point.

"In the meantime we have initiated an expanded export program to match the crop to capacity and the exported fruit to existing customers have gone extremely well," Mr Carter said. "We are always looking at and thoroughly exploring any opportunities that present themselves and fall within our overall strategy."

The company's nashi pear harvest ran from January to March this year, and Mr Carter has praised his team for growing and harvesting one of the best crops the company has ever seen from these orchards, both in volume and quality.

"Every crop we grow, including our nashi pears, are grown across our seven orchards in Bunbartha, 15 minutes’ drive from Shepparton, and part of the Goulburn Valley, often referred to as the ‘Fruit Bowl’ of Australia," he said. "Demand for nashi pears, is stable, with the majority of what we grow servicing our local retail and wholesale customers."


For more information:
Cameron Carter
Seeka Australia
Phone: +61 428 427 459
cameron.carter@seekaaustralia.com.au
Publication date: 4/26/2018
Author: Matthew Russell
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Kiwfruit harvest kicks off after good kiwiberry and avocado seasons

The New Zealand kiwifruit harvest is commencing today at produce company, Seeka. It has just completed its Nashi and Packham pear harvests in Australia and avocado and kiwiberry harvests in New Zealand.

2018 has seen unsettled weather in New Zealand already with ex-tropical cyclone Gita having impacted in New Zealand's South Island and it was feared that the remnants of tropical cyclone Hola may have hit the Te Puke area on Monday, but the storm drifted to the east of the country. MetService said it would bring a short spell of wind, rain and larger swells, with possible severe weather in places. Now there is a new Cyclone Linda brewing in the Coral Sea in New Caledonia.

Michael Franks said that Seeka are ready to go with the new kiwifruit harvest. "We are at the end of a very good kiwiberry harvest, and having completed Seeka’s most successful avocado season ever. In the kiwiberry space around 1605 bins have been processed across Seeka’s new kiwiberry processing plant – a converted cherry grader. The machine has commissioned well, and provided Seeka and its growers with 5 times the capacity to pack. Its delivered a significantly better risk profile for our growers, particularly with the unsettled weather pattern. This is well up on last year’s approximate 1297 bins processed at Seeka. The first kiwifruit are now ready for harvest. The weather during the kiwifruit growing season has been very unsettled with less than ideal amounts of sunshine punctuated with heavy rain. The result is a very large size profile. Dry matters are comparatively low and we are closely monitoring the fruit to get it harvested when the criteria is achieved."

Last year Hayward [green] yields were low with big sizes, this season's yields are expected to be more normal and Seeka are expecting to pack between 29 million and 30 million trays, compared to last year's 25.5 million.

Seeka is currently recruiting for the season but there doesn't seem to be the usual numbers of backpackers registering as in previous years. This is a new phenomenon in New Zealand and in the Hawkes Bay, the apple packers are at crisis levels. "The labour situation is always a bit confused at this time of the year," according to Franks. "People sign up to three or four packhouses in the region and will go to the place that starts packing first, so it is hard to get a handle on the overall situation right now. The numbers seem ok but we are unsure about how it will pan out. Seeka does have innovative programs underway with Government departments to encourage out of region New Zealanders to work at Seeka including subsidised transport and specialist training. We also have our overseas workforces coming in
which we use to complement the local kiwi workers."

Seeka have two packhouses with Near-Infrared technology in the lines which scans fruit to measure dry matter levels. The gold kiwifruit must reach a certain threshold to be classed as Zespri class I fruit for export. The technology tries to segregate the specific sized fruit to ensure that the dry matter levels are sufficient to meet customer's demands. Once packed the fruit is rechecked to ensure it is at the level.

"Its tricky technology to employ, and as the fruit matures and the harvest continues the cameras and technology needs recalibrated. It is time consuming at a time when we are very busy. It is not possible to take the machine down for a whole day for recalibration. The whole process is expensive to the point where its economic benefits are marginal, but we do it because the market and growers expect it of us," said Franks.

"We anticipate a better crop volumes this season, up 4.5million trays on last year. Hayward will be better so we are expecting around 18 million conventional and organic trays and also a lift in the Sungold fruit, but we are conscious that it does have lower dry matter," stated Franks.

Meanwhile at Seeka Australia the financial performance last year was up significantly, mainly due to a very good kiwifruit harvest, but according to Franks, there is still room to improve. The focus in on production to get all varieties performing at their optimum. Last year the Nashi volume was down but they are predicting a bumper crop this year across all varieties. Seeka Australia has experienced unprecedented export demand for its kiwifruit. The orchards, while in a difficult growing environment, produce fruit of excellent taste and quality. The combination of high temperatures, high sunlight hours and strict quality standards has delivered an excellent kiwifruit, according to Franks. Export volumes are expected to surge by 60% with Seeka continuing to market through its dedicated European customers.

Seeka continues to invest; it is developing 60 hectares of new kiwifruit orchards as well as new pear varieties. The company has deployed new high-brix high yielding pears focused on its key Australian customers. These new exciting pears are intended to meet growing market demand and replace commodity pears.

For more information:
Michael Franks
Seeka
Tel: +64 21 356 516
Email: Michael.Franks@seeka.co.nz

Article and Image Source: www.freshplaza.com

 


Publication date: 3/14/2018
Author: Nichola McGregor
Copyright: www.freshplaza.com

Australian pomefruit volumes tipped to rise

Forecast suggests overall crop will increase year-on-year on the back of improved pear harvest
Australian pomefruit production is tipped to rise in 2018, although the packout of Class 1 apples will be noticeably down on last year.

The Apple and Pear Crop Estimate, prepared by consultants AgFirst, has forecast an overall crop of 413,082 tonnes, up on the 400,902 tonnes recorded in 2017.

Apple production for 2018 is estimated at 296,941 tonnes, a marginal 1 per cent decline year-on-year. However, the Class 1 packout volume is expected to recede by 7 per cent compared with last year.

“The higher the Class 1 packout percentage, the higher the revenue to growers,” Angus Crawford, technical manager of Apple and Pear Australia (APAL), said in an article on the industry body’s website.

Across Australian orchards, an average of 67 per cent of apples are expected to be classified as Class 1 this season, down from 72 per cent in 2017.

APAL has pointed to hail damage on orchards in the Adelaide Hills last October as a key reason for the drop off in Class 1 volumes. Over 90 per cent of the region’s area was hit in some way by the deluge, with an estimated 70 per cent of the apple crop impacted to some degree.

“While the losses are quite severe, of this 70pc affected it is believed almost half could be salvageable and go into either class 1 or class 2 specifications depending on what finally gets picked and packed, and also on whether retailers allow levels of tolerance for damaged fruit,” Crawford explained.

Other growing regions such as the Goulburn Valley, Southern Victoria, Batlow, Queensland and Tasmania have also experienced hail, however, Crawford said these were not regarded significantly above the norm when it came to determining the overall estimate.

In a positive sign for the country’s pear growers, production is forecast to rise to 116,141 tonnes in 2018, up 14 per cent year-on-year, with a 20 per cent increase in Class 1 packouts.

“The important factor contributing to the pear result is the full crop of Packham and Buerré Bosc pears compared with last year,” Crawford noted.

Source: http://www.fruitnet.com/asiafruit Author: Matthew Jones

Australian pome fruit promoted in Dubai

There was excellent promotion of Australian apples and pears at the ‘Taste Australia’ stand at the Middle East’s leading fresh produce trade event – World of Perishables – held in Dubai, from 5 to 7 December.

Promoting Australian apples and pears: APAL’s Andrew Mandemaker at the ‘Taste Australia’ stand at World of Perishables, Dubai, UAE.

‘Taste Australia’ is an initiative of Hort Innovation, focused on in-market export activity to help promote premium Australian produce in current and future markets. It is part of a broader trade push by Hort Innovation to significantly grow Australian horticultural exports by 2025.

Attending the event was APAL’s Quality Project Manager Andrew Mandemaker who represented industry and helped promote Australian apples and pears at the event to importers, traders and supermarkets from the Middle East.

“Export opportunities exist in these new markets, especially for premium quality branded apples and pears,” said Mandemaker.

According to APAL, they are committed to promoting exports of apples and pears in new markets like the Middle East, a strategy in line with the Apple & Pear Industry Export Development Strategy released in August this year.

Publication date: 12/14/2017

Source: www.freshplaza.com